As we close in on warmer days, we are spending more time outdoors and the local pools are beginning to open. Whether you swim for leisure, regular exercise or just seasonally, this post is for you.
Anyone that has been in a chlorinated pool is familiar with the desert like tight, dry feeling experienced when you get out of the water. Obviously, the issue here is the chlorine; particularly its pH level and how it effects skin. The optimum pH for pool water is 7.4. While chlorine is amazing at keeping us safe (its main purpose is to disinfect), the skin’s natural pH is somewhere around 5.5. Meaning that whenever your skin is exposed to chlorinated water, it will intrinsically raise your skin’s natural pH, creating an environment that generally causes dryness and disruption in the skin’s natural moisture barrier. This is a special concern for those prone to dryness or with skin conditions such as eczema. Swimming is an awesome form of exercise and a fun leisure activity. Following these four tips can help prevent the skin issues associated with it.
CREATE A PROTECTIVE BARRIER
Save your lightweight sunscreens for the fun times when you are out of the pool and reach for a heavier sunscreen while swimming outdoors. “Water resistant” formulas are a great place to start as they are heavier, hold up longer, and are essential to creating a protective barrier that will prevent pool chemicals from damaging the skin. If you’re swimming when there is no sunlight or indoors you should switch to using a oil instead of a heavier cream sunscreen. I prefer using jojoba oil and massaging it into my skin to prevent my skin from drying out.
RINSE AND RINSE AGAIN
You should immediately shower once out of the pool to rinse the chlorine off your skin. You want to limit the skin’s exposure to chlorine as much as possible. The quicker your rinse off after swimming, the better.
APPLY ALCOHOL FREE TONER
If you can’t cleanse your skin immediately after leaving the pool, wiping with a gentle, alcohol free toner is a great way to restore the skin’s pH (remember, chlorine raises it from around 5.5 to 7.4). Follow up with a serum and/or moisturizer to hydrate zapped skin cells.
MASK AND YOUR SHALL RECEIVE
Did you know using hydrating mask after a swim is a great way to moisturize? That's because the a masks give the skin an added boost of moisture More oily skin types will find relief with oil-free gel masks while a cream-based mask will be more beneficial for normal to dry skin types.
Whether you are a graceful mermaid or a doggy-paddling stud, swimming is a great activity for everyone and should be enjoyed with healthy skincare in mind.